Update for Landlords: Electrical Safety Standards

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 (“the ESS Regulations”) apply to any residential tenancy entered into, or any fixed term tenancy which comes to an end and continues as a periodic tenancy, on or after 1 July 2020. The ESS Regulations will start to apply to all existing tenancies from 1 April 2021.

Pursuant to the Regulations, a landlord is required to:

1. Ensure that the property being let meets the current electrical standards set out in the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations. Where an Electrical Installation Condition Report (“EICR”) was obtained prior to the 18th Edition, landlords are being advised by the Government to check with the electrician who undertook the inspection as to whether the electrical installation continues to comply with the standards provided under the 18th Edition, though landlords may decide that it is quicker and cheaper to obtain a new report.

2. Ensure the electrical installations in the property are inspected and tested by a qualified person at least every 5 years and obtain an EICR in respect of the inspection and testing. (See the Government website for details on how to identify a qualified person).

3. Supply a copy of the EICR to:
a) an existing tenant within 28 days of the inspection,
b) a new tenant before they take occupation of the property, or
c) a prospective tenant within 28 days of receiving a written request for the EICR from them.

4. Supply the Local Authority with a copy of the EICR within 7 days of receiving a request for a copy.

5. Where the report shows that remedial or further investigative work is necessary, complete the work within 28 days or any shorter period stated in the report.

6. Supply written confirmation from the electrician who completed the remedial works of completion of works to the tenant and the local authority within 28 days.
The Local Authority can issue civil penalties of up to £30,000 for each breach of the ESS Regulations and, where non-urgent work is identified, must serve a notice specifying the work required and providing 28 days to undertake the work.

A landlord will not be in breach of their duty to comply with a remedial notice, if the landlord can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply.

In the meantime, if you are a landlord who is uncertain as to the steps you need to take to ensure compliance with the ESS Regulations, please contact Akanshi Agrawal or Connor Raine in our Litigation department on 01702 352511 who will be happy to assist you.